Aminisha Ferdinand, Arts Integration Instructional Coach
Theresa Fowler, Business Manager
Elise Gallinot Goldman, Program Director
Bonnie Gabel, Arts Coach
Cheryl Manley, Operations Coordinator/Problem Solver
Heather Muntzer, Arts Coach
Echo Olander, Executive Director
Aminisha Ferdinand, Arts Integration Instructional Coach, is the key staff in the Model Schools and Teacher | Leader Projects. She joined the KID smART team as an Arts Coach in 2009, facilitating arts integration workshops for classroom teachers, coaching KID smART teaching artists and serving as artist-in-residence at Langston Hughes Academy. She performed in theater venues across the country for ten years before entering the field of arts education. Her teaching experience includes work in Atlanta, the Very Special Arts program in Jefferson Parish and the Upward Bound program at Tulane University. Aminisha also studied at the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and worked with Invisible Children in Gulu, Uganda. Aminisha received her BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Miami. She has an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU.
Theresa Fowler, Business Manager, has over twenty years of business/office management experience. She works part time with KID smART in bookkeeping and working with the Board Treasurer and the Executive Director to maintain the agencyís financial accounting systems. Theresa also works part time as the bookkeeper for HandsOn New Orleans.
Bonnie Gabel is a director, theatre maker, and arts educator. She has taught theatre, creative movement, acrobatics, digital storytelling, puppet making, and costume design/construction to children and adults. With KID smART, she is Theatre Artist-in-Residence at Wilson Elementary and leads professional development for teachers on using theater techniques to reach all learning styles in the classroom. Bonnie has worked with Cripple Creek Theater Company, ArtSpot Productions, Skinhorse Theater, Southern Rep, Crescent City Lights Youth Theater, The New Resonance Orchestra, and Junebug Productions. She holds a BFA in performance and a BA in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Elise Gallinot Goldman, Program Director since 2008, coordinated development of The KID smART Model, a comprehensive multi-faceted arts integration program designed around direct instruction in classrooms and professional development for classroom teachers and teaching artists. She has researched and trained in best practices through national models including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ArtsConnection, New York and Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was a fellow for three years. Elise received her certification training in Montessori education and taught for four years before focusing on arts administration. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia in Athens and her Masters Degree in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans.
Cheryl Manley, Operations Coordinator/Problem Solver, coordinates events and provides support to all professional staff and the Board of Directors. Cheryl has worked as a marketing and digital media consultant for several local organizations including the New Orleans Swing Dance Festival, Elephant Quilt Productions, and Vintage 329. She earned bachelor's degrees in Communication Studies and Video Production from Loyola University Chicago.
Heather Muntzer, Arts Coach, facilitates arts integration workshops for classroom teachers, including the AXIS small learning group, Making Artful Connections in Math. She coaches and supports KID smART teaching artists and serves as artist-in-residence (visual arts) at Langston Hughes Academy. She is a practicing visual artist who shows her work in the St. Claude Arts District. Heather is the co-founder and Art Program Director for Big Class, a New Orleans-based organization that facilitates creative collaborations between youth and professional artists through programming and publishing. She holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts, with a minor in Art Education and is working towards her M.Ed from Mills College and is certified in Secondary Teaching in the Arts. She has completed the Kennedy Centerís Artist as Educators track.
Echo Olander, Executive Director, directs the vision and the mission of KID smART and manages operations. As Founding Director, Echo led KID smARTís growth in scope and impact from its beginning in 1999 as an arts education program for twenty children in one school to its work with six thousand students in twenty-three schools this year. Echo consulted for ten years with the Mississippi Arts Commission on the professional development component of the Whole Schools Initiative, helping schools move towards arts integrated curriculum and instruction. She coordinated the review of Curriculum Guides for the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Previous affiliations include six years as program associate with the New York State Council on the Arts and the Arts Council of New Orleans. She has a BA in English from Newcomb College.